Turkey has offered to open a port and an airport to traffic from Greek Cyprus. It is being seen as a step to meet its commitments to the European Union in talks on membership. But the offer is conditional on easing the isolation of Northern Cyprus which Turkey claims. Cyprus and the dispute over the island’s sovereignty has been a stumbling block in talks over Turkey’s accession to the EU. At present, Turkey accepts no traffic from the Greek part of Cyprus. The news that Turkey would change its policy was received on Wednesday, just as EU ambassadors were about to start discussing the EU position on Turkey. The discussion was postponed.
At a summit earlier in the week in Germany between Germany, France and Poland, German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed that the whole process of Turkey’s EU accession should be slowed down. She suggested that a progress report be produced by 2009 which would consider the whole question of Turkey’s accession to the EU. Turkey is anxious to become a member.